Taken from the Cape May Country Herald Online.
ATLANTIC CITY — Fishermen’s Energy of New Jersey, LLC (Fishermen’s) announced the filing of a petition to the state Board of Public Utilities (NJ BPU) on February 9 by its affiliate, Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm, LLC.
The Petition seeks the approval by the NJ BPU of Offshore Renewable Energy Certificates to support financing and construction of a proposed windfarm offshore of Atlantic City, pursuant to the New Jersey Offshore Wind Economic Development Act.
If approved by the NJ BPU, the Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm, located in New Jersey State waters, is on schedule to be the first grid connected offshore wind project in the United States, and will enable Atlantic City to claim the title of “Birthplace of Offshore Wind Energy in the Americas”. New Jersey would be taking the first step to be the epicenter of a new industry of clean, green energy for the 21st century.
The NJ BPU petition would set the electric revenues for this demonstration scale project, located about 2.8 miles east of Atlantic City and consisting of six turbines, whose output will not exceed 25MW.
Daniel Cohen, President of Fishermen’s Energy stated, “The decision to allow us to receive OREC funding will be up to the NJ BPU. The price for the electricity is within the range we testified to during the legislative process to enact the Offshore Wind Development Act, with about a one tenth of one percent rate increase in the first operating year, which will decrease each year thereafter, as the cost of fossil fired energy increases. This is a bargain for New Jersey and its ratepayers as a societal and energy cost hedge and to start a new industry.”
According to a press release from the organization, Fishermen’s believes that the economic benefits to New Jersey’s business and tourist economy as well as the positive environmental attributes provide significant net benefits to the state, outweighing the projected cost.
“This project will be a magnet for industrial development of wind energy manufacturing in New Jersey. The State’s and the NJ BPU’s willingness to support this first offshore wind project for New Jersey and the U.S. will be a key selling point to convince wind turbine manufacturing and related supply chain participants to locate new facilities in New Jersey, bringing their associated jobs and investment.” said Mike Madia, Chief Operating Officer of Fishermen’s Energy and team leader that produced the Petition to the NJ BPU.
Madia added, “Aside from industrial jobs, based on polling data among tourists, Fishermen’s projects that the presence of an operating wind farm visually associated with Atlantic City and that is accessible to tourists by boat from shore, will result in increased tourism to Atlantic City, drawing people to the birthplace of offshore wind in the Americas. This coupled with the economic incentives for manufacturing included in the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act provides compelling reasons for new industry to locate in New Jersey.”
The Offshore Wind Economic Development Act was legislation signed by Governor Christie on August 19, 2010 after being passed in the legislature with bi-partisan leadership support of Senator Sweeney (D – Senate President) and Senator Tom Kean (R- Minority Leader). The bill authorized 1100 MW in projects, gives the NJ BPU the ability to set up to a 20 year OREC price for offshore wind energy projects and provides $100M in tax credits to attract manufacturers to invest in new facilities and create new offshore wind equipment manufacturing jobs in New Jersey Ports. The bill specifically allows the Board to approve a wind farm project off of Atlantic City.
“We are confident that with our unique on-water experience along with our offshore wind energy
development capabilities Fishermen’s Energy is an ideal partner for making offshore wind energy a reality for the State of New Jersey.” said Cohen. “Our pilot project can be the catalyst needed to jump-start the offshore wind industry in New Jersey.” Cohen continued.
Fishermen’s Energy was founded by East Coast commercial fishermen to respond to the public’s need to
develop the ocean for renewable wind energy. Fishermen’s goal is to turn the North Atlantic coastal waters into an unmatched source of clean energy, while maintaining a vibrant commercial fishing industry.
Fishermen’s Energy and its core group of respected commercial fishing industry founders have researched
offshore wind carefully and have chosen to view offshore wind as an opportunity, rather than as a threat to their traditional fishing businesses. Fishermen’s Energy has partnered with experienced professionals in the renewable energy and the offshore wind business community to propose, plan, and build responsible projects to serve the public’s need for safe renewable energy. Recognizing that the impacts of offshore energy development will be long-term and cumulative, and that successful development requires a depth of maritime and ocean experience and years of local presence this core group concluded that if the ocean environment is to be developed as a source of electricity, local fishing industry participants bound for life to the community and to the sea are the best source of talent and resources to accomplish this goal for the public.
For more information visit: www.fishermensenergy.com